Monthly Archives: February 2020

Citizenserve General Technical Features Q&A

These Citizenserve General Technical Features are our response to a formal Permitting and Land Management System Request for Information from a city of about 62,500 residents.  Read on for general technical information about Citizenserve's e-government software solution.

General Technical Featuresl

2.1.1. Describe your software licensing model.2.2.9. Provide details on supported browsers, browser versions and Windows operating systems.

Citizenserve Response: Citizenserve is device and browser-independent and works on any modern browser.

General Technical Features - Servers and Databases

2.3.1. Describe the server environment required for your solution.

Citizenserve Response: Citizenserve is a multi-tenant cloud-based Software-as-a-Service solution and does not require server hardware or software.

2.3.2. Describe the server minimum specifications (e.g., OS, RAM) needed for each of the required servers.

Citizenserve Response: Citizenserve is a multi-tenant cloud-based Software-as-a-Service solution and does not require server hardware or software.

2.3.3. Describe the database versions, and patch levels supported as of January 2020. Include a sequence of preferred databases supported by the vendor based on the most stable and best-performing platform for the solution.

Citizenserve Response: Citizenserve is a multi-tenant cloud-based Software-as-a-Service solution and does not require server hardware or software. End-users can use any device and any browser to access the software.

2.3.4. <>Describe any database CPU and memory resource requirements. Include an architectural diagram that illustrates the database architecture.

Citizenserve Response: Citizenserve is only offered as a Software-as-a-Service solution; the City will not require additional hardware or databases. We do not share diagrams of our database architecture for security reasons.

2.3.5. What are the file standards for database server files?

Citizenserve Response: Citizenserve is a multi-tenant cloud-based Software-as-a-Service solution and does not require server hardware or software.

2.3.7. Please provide any installation documentation or standard operating procedures.

Citizenserve Response: Citizenserve is a Software-as-a-Service solution; the Citizenserve staff maintains and supports the application and database.

General Technical Features - Integration and Service-Oriented Architecture

2.4.1. Describe the solution’s ability to support single sign-on using an on-premise and cloud Active Directory to authenticate employees/users.

Citizenserve Response: Citizenserve supports the use of Active Directory for authentication and provides integration to the City’s Active Directory for an additional fee.

2.4.2. Describe the solution’s import/export feature-capability at the application level (above the database layer) and through the application interface.

Citizenserve Response: All reports are available in CSV or PDF file format.  We import data with customized SQL scripts.

General Technical Features - Software as a Service

2.5.1. Please describe in detail the company’s policy for handling the customer’s intellectual property.

Citizenserve Response: We only work with State and Local Government jurisdictions.  Customers own their data in all cases.

2.5.3. Describe the availability of metrics for the City of Redmond to measure consumption of services, such as bandwidth.

Citizenserve Response: The Citizenserve subscription includes unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited processing and unlimited support.  We provide reports on data size or setup monitoring on the City IP address, but we do not use the information for billing purposes.

2.5.5. Describe the options available for exporting data from the SaaS solution for external interfaces.

Citizenserve Response: The City can request and obtain a copy of its data at any time and there is no charge to get a copy.  The copy is provided in Microsoft SQL Server format.

Final General Technical Features

2.6.6. Provide the SLAs for system availability.

Citizenserve Response: From inception, Citizenserve was built as a pay-as-you-go subscription and Citizenserve has maintained a 99.99+% up-time for 17 years.  Any customer recourse for unacceptable service is subscription cancellation.  We have never had a customer cancel a subscription-based on system availability or performance.  Our customers are not locked into multi-year contracts. We appreciate the opportunity to describe Citizenserve's General Technical Features.

About Citizenserve
Citizenserve is a cloud-based community development software suite. We configure our software to meet your needs. In addition to Business Licenses and renewals, we also offer solutions for online Building Permits, Business Licenses, Development Projects, Code Enforcement, and Requests. Explore our site see how we can support your community development efforts!

See how one customer is rolling out Citizenserve in their community.

Citizenserve Web Services Q&A

This description of Citizenserve Web Services is our response to a formal Request for Information from a city of about 62,500 residents.  Read on for details about some of the Web Service features included in our e-government software solution.

1.11   Web Services

1.11.1. Describe the ability to provide web-based self-services. Include the ability to allow customers to submit, track, and pay for services (inspections/permit information for example). Also address how they access their respective information (i.e., permits, plan review, inspection) online.

Our Response: We provide a configurable and customizable online portal. This portal allows citizens, contractors, and businesses to electronically interact with permitting, code enforcement, inspection, licensing, and requests. The portal can be configured as a link off of the City’s website.

  • Planning and zoning applicants can submit applications online. This includes attaching documents, checking application status, and paying application fees online.
  • With our permitting software your constituents can apply for a permit, upload digital plans, schedule inspections, pay fees, and check application status online.
  • Citizens can report possible code violations and check complaint status through the online portal. You can communicate with your citizens effectively and efficiently using our automatic notifications, automated letters, and email templates.
  • Business owners seeking licenses use the portal to submit applications, schedule inspections, upload required documents, and pay fees. Applicants may also check application statuses and download approved License Certificates and ID cards through the portal.

One key feature is our ability to set User Notifications and Assignments. When citizens, contractors, and businesses act on an application through the citizen portal, staff and departments are notified. For example, if a staff member requests a revised plan document, the notification matrix will notify staff when the document is uploaded.

Additional Configuration


1.11.2. Does the solution allow custom branding (City of Redmond logo, for example)?

Our Response: Yes.

1.11.3. Describe the ability to generate online permits for simple projects that meet defined criteria including data validation.

Our Response: We support flexible workflows that incorporate data validation. We can easily configure a workflow for simple permits that generates the permit online based on specific data validation. If the City elects, we can configure the online portal to enable the contractor to download and print the permit.

1.11.5. Describe the integration into the solution including the ability to process multiple payments or partial payments for both permits and invoices.

Our Response: Our software can collect a single payment and apply it across multiple permits and/or invoices. Partial payments can be configured as part of the payment process; for example, applications can require plan check fee payment up front. Multiple payments can be applied and tracked, with custom reporting available to show detailed historical payment information at the invoice level, permit level, or both.

1.11.6. Does the payment solution allow for guest checkout options?

Our Response: This depends on the payment processor that the City chooses.  Most payment processors provide a checkout process that does not require “registration” or an account with the specific payment provider. Thank you for allowing us to discuss Citizenserve Web Services with you.

About Us


Citizenserve is a cloud-based community development software suite. We configure our software to meet your needs. In addition to Business Licenses and renewals, we also offer solutions for online Building Permits, Business Licenses, Development Projects, Code Enforcement, and Requests. Explore our site see how we can support your community development efforts!

Here's what one customer says our software:
“This modern, intuitive, and easy-to-use software system will provide complete customer care to help our municipality provide online services to our residents. With the COVID-19, we saw how important it was to be able to connect with our residents using technology. Citizenserve will help enhance the building department processes by making it quicker by decreasing waiting times, submitting applications, and paying for applications online. The goal will be to eventually manage the entire permit and licensing system online from intake, through plans review and on to inspections.” See the full article here.

Financials and Cashiering, Fee and Payment Processing Q&A

This Financials and Cashiering discussion, including Fees and Payment Processing was prepared in response to a formal Request for Information from a city of about 62,500 residents.  Read on for information about some of the cashiering and financial features included in Citizenserve's e-government software solution. 1.9     Finance 1.9.1. Describe the solution’s abilities to create, manage, secure, and report (ad-hoc and scheduled) on financial transactions. Our Response: Citizenserve enables complex fee calculations, and your subscription includes fee schedules maintenance. Fee schedules include end dates. To enable payments, we integrate with a customer’s payment provider(s); we do not store credit card information. All data in the database is encrypted.…

Citizenserve e-Government Development Services – Q&A

This discussion of Citizenserve e-Government Development Services is our response to a formal Request for Information from a city of about 62,500 residents.  Read on for more information about some of the Development Services features included in our e-government software solution.

1.3.1. Provide a simple diagram or outline of the permitting system process. The diagram should depict the end-to-end range of a permit lifecycle from the pre-application process, permit fees, plan review, building permit fees, issuing permits, inspections, through the final approval and certificate of occupancy.

Our Response: Citizenserve Permits, licenses, case types, and file types are highly configurable.  This flexibility is necessary as hundreds of jurisdictions use our software for various types of permitting, licensing, inspections and enforcement.  The following short demonstration provides an overview of an example permit process:

https://www.citizenserve.com/portfolio-view/permitting-overview/

1.3.2. Describe your solution’s capability to accept and review plans, issue development related permits, and track inspections.

Our Response: Citizens, contractors, and businesses work electronically with the City through the online portal.  They upload plan documents, review markups and comments, request inspections, review inspection results, etc. electronically.  Citizenserve delivers a built-in browser and device independent markup and comment tool.  Below are some short video demonstrations related to submitting plans and plan review:

https://www.citizenserve.com/portfolio-view/permitting-overview/

https://www.citizenserve.com/portfolio-view/permit-inspections/

https://www.citizenserve.com/portfolio-view/online-permit-applications/

1.3.3. Describe the functionality for reminder and or expirations for development processes. Describe the ability to set alerts based on business rules to ensure deadlines for time in possession and business commitments are maintained.

Our Response: The workflow review routes are set up with timeframes and the user's home page displays overdue activities.  We support workflow routes for all development, permit and license application types.  Metrics track and identify overdue timeframes.  Here’s a short video demonstration on workflow routes:

https://www.citizenserve.com/portfolio-view/workflow-routing/

1.3.4. Describe your solution’s processing for duplicating a repetitive process and “cloning” permits.

Our Response: Citizenserve Permits are configured with custom fields that make up the application form.  We set up a custom process to copy a permit type into a new permit application.  We usually call this tool a “report”, but it is an interactive feature that does system processing.  The creation of unlimited reports like this is included in your subscription.  These are most helpful in master plan communities where developers use master permits to create new permit applications for similar projects.

1.3.5. Describe your solution’s capability to link all projects on a specific parcel, address, and/or a large development in order to track dependencies and history.

Our Response: All development, permit, license, case, and file types are linked to a property or set of properties.  When reviewing a property any file types are displayed, so everything about a location is in the property view.  When looking at a project, all permits on that project are available; for example, when looking at a contractor, all of the contractor’s projects are displayed.

1.3.6. Describe your solution’s capability to manage and monitor Historic Preservation processes including demolition permits.

Our Response: Historic Preservation processes and demolition permits are just different permit application types owned by their respective departments with their own interdepartmental workflows.  Citizenserve e-Government Development Services are a flexible solution for special permit types and processes.

 1.3.7. Describe any limitations to the number of different plan reviews or permits that your solution can handle.

Our Response: Citizenserve allows an unlimited number of permit types with an unlimited number of custom fields per application.  Each permit type allows an unlimited number of review routes which includes an unlimited number of review activities.

1.3.8. Does your solution distinguish between a plan review and a permit?

Our Response: Yes, file types are configured as Development Projects or Permit/Building Projects.  These are configured at the Organization, Department, and Sub-department level; so it is easy to separate Public Works Development Projects from Building Departments Development Projects.

1.3.9. Describe the solution’s capabilities to reference ordinances and building codes, and other regulations, i.e., state statutes. Provide a description of how this information is loaded and updated.

Our Response: Setting up codes and ordinances is included in the initial setup and implementation.  Updating codes and ordinances is included in the unlimited support.  The administrative features in the software are easy to use, so departments can also update their respective codes and ordinances without submitting a support request, if desired.

1.3.10. Describe the solution’s ability to integrate with the Washington State Labor and Industries system for the purposes of validating Contractor licenses.

Our Response: Since Redmond already uses Citizenserve for business licensing we may already have established this integration.  Generally, a http link built into the system as a custom field is an easy way to make a lookup into another system that is available through the internet or a http request.

1.3.11. Describe the solution’s ability to integrate with Business License management applications, such as Citizenserve.

Our Response: The City uses Citizenserve for business licensing so there is no need to integrate with Citizenserve.

1.4     Resource Management

1.4.1. Describe the solution’s ability to optimize and plan inspections routes. Elaborate on the capability to manage assignments based on geographic location leveraging GPS/AVL technology, skills certifications, workload, and priority.

Our Response: Our inspection scheduling processes is highly configurable.  Your subscription includes unlimited support, which includes the creation of interactive custom reports that can perform processing.  Some of our customers have complex rules for optimizing activities like inspections and the interactive custom reports with processing provide ultimate flexibility in implementing and refining process improvements.  The following video demonstration provides an overview of the general inspection features:

https://www.citizenserve.com/portfolio-view/permit-inspections/

And thank you for allowing us to discuss Citizenserve e-Government Development Services with you.

About Us


Citizenserve is a cloud-based community development software suite. We configure our software to meet your needs. In addition to Business Licenses and renewals, we also offer solutions for online Building Permits, Business Licenses, Development Projects, Code Enforcement, and Requests. Explore our site see how we can support your community development efforts!

Here's what one customer says our software:

“This modern, intuitive, and easy-to-use software system will provide complete customer care to help our municipality provide online services to our residents. With the COVID-19, we saw how important it was to be able to connect with our residents using technology. Citizenserve will help enhance the building department processes by making it quicker by decreasing waiting times, submitting applications, and paying for applications online. The goal will be to eventually manage the entire permit and licensing system online from intake, through plans review and on to inspections.” See the full article here.